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How Do MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Machines Work

Oct 8, 2020 | Articles, MRI

You will likely experience being put through a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at least once in your life. It is a way for doctors to see inside your body to find diseases and abnormal conditions. Unlike x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, MRI examinations do not rely on ionizing radiation. 


How does it work?

In an MRI examination, the patient is placed with the scanner. The parts of the MRI machine then come together to produce a powerful magnetic field that aligns subatomic particles within the body known as MRI Brain Scan of head and skull

protons, which are present in every atom. The radiofrequency energy that runs through the body causes these protons to produce signals that are picked up by a receiver. 

These signals are specially analyzed using the rapidly changing magnetic field to produce images of the body part being scanned. 

MRI scanners are used to show differences between healthy and unhealthy tissue. Nearly any part of the body can be scanned with an MRI, such as the brain, spine, joints, abdomen, pelvic region, breasts, blood vessels, heart, and so on. 


Is it safe?

Over 400 million patients have had MRI examinations since the technology was introduced into the medical field. So long as the proper precautions are taken, the process is generally safe. It produces no pain and causes no known short-term or long-term ailments and tissue damage of any kind. 

Are MRIs Safe

However, it is important to remove metallic objects near the MRI, as the strong magnetic field can attract them with great force towards the system. This can cause injuries, in addition to damaging the MRI’s parts. Watches, jewelry, and clothing with metal parts and threads should be removed from the area before the examination.

An MRI technologist normally manages these precautions. Anyone set to undergo an MRI examination will first go through a careful screening procedure that will determine whether they have metallic implants and materials in the body that are unfit for the MRI examination. 

Patients with aneurysm clips, hearing aids, metal dentures and fillings, pacemakers, and ferromagnetic shrapnel in their bodies cannot use the MRI, as the machine can cause these to either malfunction or shift violently and painfully within the body. 

MRI Room

How do I prepare for it?

There’s no special preparation for the MRI exam unless the doctor specifically requests it. Sometimes, you will be required to refrain from eating or drinking in the hours before the exam.

As we’ve mentioned before, you will also be asked to remove anything metallic from your person, so it is important to leave items, like watches, jewelry, and other ferromagnetic materials, at home. Even makeup may have trace amounts of metals, so it is best to avoid putting on makeup for your procedure. 


Final thoughts

The MRI is a brilliantly designed machine. The parts of the MRI come together to form an integral tool in healthcare. It is a safer alternative to x-rays and CT scans due to its use of magnetism instead of radiation, and, in many cases, it can produce more comprehensive pictures of what’s going on in the body.

If you’re looking for MRI machine parts and other resources, send us a message at Direct Med Parts. We can make the healthcare process smoother for you and everyone you treat. 

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